Jan 24th, 2019
Analog Jones takes on Disney's black sheep in their The Black Cauldron (1985) VHS Movie Review!
Released: July 4th, 1985
Runtime: 80 minutes
Gross USA: $21,288,692
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- it is loosely based on the first two books in The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a series of five novels that are, in turn, based on Welsh mythology.
-The first Disney animated movie to not contain any songs, neither performed by characters nor in the background.
-Known by many as "the film Disney tried to bury," fans of the fantasy genre and this movie have tried many times to get the deleted footage restored.
-Suspended from video release for several years, due to its dark content.
-First full-length Disney animated movie since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to have completed scenes cut before release.
-Tim Burton, who worked as a Conceptual Artist on this movie, wanted to incorporate minions of the Horned King that were akin to the "facehuggers" from the Alien film franchise. Some samples of his work can be seen on Disney's 2000 DVD of this movie.
-This movie is notable for being the first full-length Disney animated movie to incorporate computer graphics imagery (CGI) in its animation. The CGI was utilized for a lot of the special effects, which included the bubbles, a boat, a floating orb of light, the Cauldron, the realistic flames were seen near the end of the movie, and the boat that Taran and his friends used to escape the castle
-The production of this movie can be traced back to 1971 when Walt Disney Pictures purchased the screen rights to Lloyd Alexander's "The Chronicles of Prydain." This movie took over twelve years to make, five years of actual production, and cost over twenty-five million dollars. Over one thousand different hues and colors were used, and thirty-four miles of film stock was utilized.
-Ralph Bakshi was approached to be involved with this movie in 1979 after the success of his fantasy film Wizards (1977), and his animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (1978). He turned it down, believing his style is far too mature for a Disney movie for family entertainment.
-Various members of Disney's "Nine Old Men," as well as Don Bluth, took stabs at making this movie during the 1970s.
-According to Producer Joe Hale, "When (Jeffrey) Katzenberg first screened the film, he told us to cut it by ten minutes. Roy (Disney) and I got together and found some scenes we could get rid of, that didn't affect the story that much." When they ran it again for Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the film finished, he asked Roy Edward Disney, "Is that ten minutes?" When Disney replied, "No, it was only around six minutes." Katzenberg stated, "I said ten minutes!" Hale continued, "Eventually he cut out about twelve minutes, which really hurt the picture."
-Four months before the film's release, The Samuel Goldwyn Company had released The Care Bears Movie (1985) which was made by the much smaller company Nelvana. It only cost $2 million but made $23 million at the box office. By contrast, The Black Cauldron cost $44 million but only made $21.3 million. This alarmed many Disney animators and raised questions about the future of the department.
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